Nanaimo grandfather stabbed in dispute over physical distancing

A Nanaimo grandfather is recovering at home after he was stabbed in an altercation that started with a dispute over physical-distancing measures.

Kurt Lascheit, 50, was stabbed three times by a man who approached his family in the parking lot of Port Place Mall about 6 p.m. Wednesday, said his daughter, Stevey Lascheit.

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She said she was standing in a circle with her parents and her husband outside of Dollarama when a man walked through their group and knocked her into her car, where her three children were sitting.

Lascheit said she reminded the man he should stay two metres away from them, and he responded by swearing at her and giving her the finger, which her father didn’t like.

Her dad walked toward the man, who hit him in the face with a metal coffee cup, breaking his nose.

Her dad started fighting back, she said, and the man threw him against the window of ­Dollarama.

“I was screaming: ‘Get off my dad! Get off my dad!’ ” she said.

Lascheit’s husband jumped in, trying to pull the man off her father. The man grabbed her husband’s ankle to hold him in place, and Lascheit and her mother started kicking the man in the head in an attempt to end the struggle.

“Then my dad stood up and said: ‘I’ve been stabbed,’ ” she said.

Everyone backed away from the man, who pointed a knife at Lascheit’s mother. He started to walk away, and Lascheit’s mother and husband followed him until he entered the mall.

They called police, and her father was taken to hospital to receive treatment for his broken nose and puncture wounds — two in the back and one in the armpit.

He was out of hospital in about an hour, and he’s doing well, but the family was told if the puncture wounds were any deeper, they would have punctured a lung, Lascheit said.

An hour after the attack, police learned the suspect was on Gabriola Island. Officers on the island went to his home and arrested him, returning him to Nanaimo on the ferry.

He was turned over to Nanaimo RCMP, served an undertaking for assault with a weapon and released from custody.

His first court appearance is May 25 in Nanaimo provincial court.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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